Detroit auto show: 10 can’t-miss cars set to debut
The automotive world eagerly anticipates Ford’s lighter F-150, and Chevy’s next-gen Corvette.
This is the big one, expected to be the star of the show. Some pictures and drawings have been seen of the seventh generation of General Motors’ one true icon, and apparently people have been fired for leaking them. GM’s playing this one so close to its chest that the chances are the car’s been changed just to spite those spy shots. We know that it’s more powerful and more refined than before, ready to prove itself against the SRT Viper. It won’t be seen officially until Sunday evening — visit wheels.ca then to get a good look.
BMW Concept 4 Series Coupe:
This sounds important because it seems to herald an all-new model for the BMW brand, which formerly jumped from 3 Series to 5 Series. The new 4 Series though is really a boosted 3 Series that’s based on the 640i Gran Coupe, a little longer and wider and lower than the 3, but not priced into the stratosphere. Although it’s called a concept, don’t expect the production car to look much different when it’s released later this year.
Ford F-150 Concept:
There have been some spy shots seen of the heavily camouflaged 2015 F-150, a prototype of the bestselling vehicle in North America, but Ford says the truck it will show at Detroit is still just a concept. In any case, it will probably be considerably lighter to improve its fleet fuel economy — it’s rumoured to have shed as much as 300 kg by using aluminum instead of steel. There may also be a hybrid version as well.
Honda urban SUV concept:
We don’t know much about Honda’s new small SUV concept, except that it’s “a global concept model combining a sporty and dynamic SUV profile with a spacious, functional interior,” according to the automaker. Pretty much every SUV out there would like to be described this way, but what it really means by “urban” is that it’s smaller than the current CR-V, which has been growing in size over the years. It may be based on the Fit platform. Expect this to signal a future compact mainstay for the brand.
Infiniti just announced that all its new vehicles will be called Q (for cars) or QX (for SUVs). The new Q50 that will debut is actually the replacement for its bestselling G37 sedan, which hasn’t changed significantly for six years. We’ve only seen heavily camouflaged spy photos of the new sedan that don’t tell much, and a recent teaser video (http://infinitinews.com/en-CA/infiniti/canada/releases/infiniti-releases-all-new-q50-teaser-video-upon-reaching-1-million-facebook-fans) showed only a funky headlight. Whatever it looks like on the stand, though, will be Infiniti’s look for some while to come.
All we’ve seen is a fuzzy teaser video, (http://www.toyota-global.com/events/motor_show/2013/detroit/booth/) but we know the sedan concept that Toyota will reveal is code-named “Furia.” This means it could be an all-new sedan or, more likely, it hints at the new look for the next-generation Corolla.
Dodge Dart GT:
The GT version of the Dart is a sportier approach than the standard model introduced at Detroit last year, showing what can be possible for Dodge’s Great Hope. It’s a repackaging of many of the existing options in one standard offering, including 18-inch wheels, a more aggressive-looking front fascia, dual exhaust with chrome tips, LED tail lights and optional HID headlights.
The GT Dart will have the 184-hp 2.4 L MultiAir2 engine, as opposed to the 2.0 or the 1.4 MultiAir engines the line has now. Will this herald an R/T version that will deliver performance to match its looks?
The ELR is a two-door luxury version of the Chevy Volt extended-range electric car. We’ve only seen it camouflaged, but the interest here will come from how GM improves on the slow-selling Volt. There’s a lot at stake for the future of extended-range technology, in which a gas-powered engine powers an electric motor that drives the car, and it hasn’t caught on as GM expected. The ELR offers a second chance to get it right.
There’s not much known about the HCD-14 concept except for Hyundai’s statement that it “will give the automotive world a glimpse into future Hyundai premium vehicle design, advanced 3-D gesture-based technology controls, and spirited driving dynamics.” While 3-D gesture-based tech is intriguing, it will probably give us an idea of the look of the next-generation Genesis sedan, too.
Utah-based Via — known as Vtrux in Canada so it’s not confused with the train service — is the only non-mainstream maker on this list, but its vehicles are just as interesting. It buys production models from General Motors and then converts them to pure electric and extended electric use, showing the practicality of electric design for heavier vehicles. Its spokesperson at the show, former GM V-P Bob Lutz, will be introducing an 800-hp pickup truck, a luxurious AWD SUV, and a 12-passenger van.